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I have a character base mesh and want to make variations of it that share the same underlying topology, a common use-case for games. "Duplicate Linked" shares the underlying mesh in the way I want (any changes to the underlying topology like add/remove vertices, faces, edges, etc appear in all instances). Beyond topology changes, I want to then have localized instance-specific changes to the shape of the mesh (e.g. for different body types without changing vertices count/order).

Is there a way to do this in Blender? Or is the only way to have a single mesh and then use modifiers/layers for each variation and turn them on/off?

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think the current sculpt workflow allows this. You can try the boolean workflow though. Could you add an example picture with a few variations so we can see how complex the problem is ? $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Jan 3 at 9:26

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In a certain way, you could implement this in Shape Keys. Your base mesh would be the Basis and each variation of it a shape key. This would theoretically allow you to manage/maintain only one rig for all characters.

(However, this depends very much on the complexity of your requirements of which you have given little indication)

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